“the book thief”

I still remember staying up all night to get it done, and I realize that’s always the best time to finish a book.” – Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is undoubtedly one of the most incredible books I have ever read. It’s the kind of read that mutes the world around me as I immerse myself in a story that, although fictional, has happened and still happens. It’s tragic and hopeful.

Schreibe,” she instructed herself. “Write.”

Reading about Zusak’s struggles in trying to get this book right, about his many attempts to start over with a new narrator or with a new plot, was a spark that I very much needed. I realized (not for the first time, but I needed the refresher) that the best books are going to take a lot out of you. They’ll take a great chunk of your time, of your sanity, and of your heart. It won’t be one smooth stroke and starting over is okay. Zusak elaborated on this at the end of the version of the book that I bought, and it made a difference in the way that I view my own writing. I’m grateful to him for that.

I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”

My favorite aspect of most books is the characters. I am hugely character driven. It gets to the ridiculous point that if I love a character enough, I would truly enjoy reading about them folding socks, because if I love the character, chances are I’ll love the way they fold socks. My favorite element of The Book Thief, however, is the importance that it places on words.

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I’ve made them right.” – Liesel Meminger

Words were Hitler’s strength. Words are what saved Liesel’s life more than once. Words tore her apart, and they mended her back together. I have never read a book that talks about words the way that this one does, and it was such a brilliant experience. I’m figuratively punching myself for not having read this book sooner. But maybe it wouldn’t have had this effect on me had I read it at any other time. Maybe I was simply meant to read it when I did.

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3 Comments

  1. Ramadan Mubarak! I read this a few years ago, so I can’t quite remember the writing. But I think I liked it a lot. How’s your writing come along btw? We’re accountability partners, I was reminded the other day. I can’t say I’ve done much other than what I’ve blogged.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alayna wa alaykum! Blogging is the only form of social media I’m allowing myself this month so I haven’t actually spoken to anyone online in a while, it’s nice to see your name pop up in my comments 🙂

      My writing…well let’s see. I carved out a 3 month plan that I only stuck with for 18 days because it didn’t feel right to write it that way. So everyday I think about the story and I spend a little time with characters. And when it wants to be written, I’ll write it. I feel that moment coming pretty soon, as I haven’t sat down and written anything since April. But little by little, pieces of the story start to make sense to me again. I may completely start over, but it’ll be worth it. In shaa Allah.

      And Rafia, your writing (whether blog related or other) is fantastic. I’ve been loving your stuff, as I always do, so it doesn’t matter the medium in which you’re writing, you’re doing it and it’s excellent.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yay! We’re more alike than I even thought. I’m off of social media too for Ramadan. Thinking of making it permanent after Ramadan too, but I can stay deactivated for now. It’s such a freeing feeling!

        I’m so glad you’re continuing to blog during Ramadan too. I have to admit I feel pressure to write about really Ramadan-y things, but the truth of the matter is, life still must continue even in Ramadan.

        I’m glad you’re still thinking about the writing project though. And I wanna know when that moment comes, or after you’ve had a chance to write it out 🙂

        Thank you for your kind words!

        Liked by 1 person

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